SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE
TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Mush on visit to India
Has sought a meeting with Vajpayee 
New Delhi, February 6
 Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf is here in India on a visit during which he wants to spend most of his time visiting historic places and enjoying good food at restaurants in the Indian capital. Musharraf’s is the first high-profile to India from Pakistan after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai which strained ties between the two countries. 
Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf with wife Sehba on their arrival at the IGI Airport in New Delhi Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf with wife Sehba on their arrival at the IGI Airport in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI



EARLIER STORIES

Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy take part in a sit-in protest outside the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi
Survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy take part in a sit-in protest outside the Prime Minister’s Office in New Delhi on Friday. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal

Pak lacks willpower: Pranab
New Delhi, February 6
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the reprehensible attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore earlier this week clearly showed Pakistan’s lack of will or capability to tackle terrorism.

Buying a pirated CD? You could
New Delhi, March 6
Pirated movie business, which includes key players like terror mastermind Dawood Ibrahim, is the main source of income for terrorists across the world, a leading US think tank has said. Elusive Dawood is among the moghuls of this highly profitable business in the South Asia region, says California-based RAND Corporation in its latest report “Film Piracy, Organised Crime and Terrorism.”

Importance of pedigree in BJP
New Delhi, March 6
Family legacy is playing a very important role in the BJP while choosing candidates for the upcoming general elections.

VP Singh’s son joins Paswan camp 
New Delhi, March 6
Political ambitions of former Prime Minister VP Singh’s son Ajay Pratap Singh finally took flight today with the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) declaring him their candidate from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. The seat, once held by VP Singh, was later won by the BJP, SP and the BSP. It is currently with Mahendra Prasad Nishad of the BSP.

Govt puts all DGPs on high alert
New Delhi, March 6
Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta has written to the DGPs of all the states to be on the highest alert as all “big leaders” were under threat along with the “general public at big rallies”.

No truck with Congress: Left
New Delhi, March 6
On the eve of the General Election, the Left feels the Congress is not the right party to forge electoral alliances with, now or later.

Women voters outnumber men in 6 states
New Delhi, March 6
A data in which gender-ratio activists may find some consolation, women voters are set to play the kingmaker role in six states of the country during the forthcoming General Election. But in rest of the states, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, male electorate would continue to dominate the field.

Justice Srikrishna report on Madras HC violence
Both lawyers, police to be blamed

New Delhi, March 6
Former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna has castigated Tamil Nadu lawyers and police for the February 19 bloody clashes in the Madras High Court premises and blamed the Acting Chief Justice and the court administration for their "soft policy" that "encouraged and emboldened the lawyers into becoming law breakers."

On Top:India tests interceptor missile
New Delhi, March 6
The India’s Missile Defence Programme today took a leap forward as scientists demonstrated the capacity to intercept an enemy missiles in mid-air and destroy it. A third test in the continuing programme was conducted off the wheeler island in Orissa this afternoon.

Pawar leaves Baramati for daughter
New Delhi, March 6
Maharashtra will have its own “Amethi” and “Rae Bareily” in these Lok Sabha elections.

SC notice to CBI on Sanjay Dutt’s plea
New Delhi, March 6
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the CBI seeking its response within two weeks to film star Sanjay Dutt’s plea for a stay on his conviction and a six-year sentence for illegal possession of arms.

Disgraced Adivasi woman gets AUDF ticket
Guwahati, March 6
The Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), a potpourri of over a dozen minority groups, led by perfume mogul Badaruddin Ajmal has decided to field a young Adivasi woman, who was stripped and assaulted on Guwahati streets, as one of the party candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

No single-party govt likely: Advani
Kolkata, March 6
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani here today said the chances of any single party forming the next government at the Centre were bleak.

3 killed in Saras crash
Bangalore, March 6
Three Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel, including two test pilots, died today when the prototype aircraft Saras of the state-run National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) crashed near Bidadi, about 30 km from Bangalore.






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Mush on visit to India
Has sought a meeting with Vajpayee 
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf is here in India on a visit during which he wants to spend most of his time visiting historic places and enjoying good food at restaurants in the Indian capital. Musharraf’s is the first high-profile to India from Pakistan after the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai which strained ties between the two countries. He is here primarily to address the ongoing India Today Conclave tomorrow. Musharraf, who was received by senior Pakistan High Commission officials on his arrival this afternoon in a special aircraft, avoided speaking to the media, saying he was not in New Delhi on a political visit.

However, he later told the organisers of the conclave that he would like to have a relaxed time in the Indian capital, now that he was no longer holding any office. Musharraf said he had sought a meeting with ailing former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with whom he had started the composite dialogue process in January 2004. “I have not sought meeting with anyone else. But I have no inhibition if someone wants to meet me.” High commission sources said besides addressing the India Today Conclave, the former military ruler will attend an interactive session being hosted by the Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India on Sunday.

He also plans to visit Aligarh for a lecture. His visit comes at a time when the political and security situation in Pakistan has been deteriorating fast with the civilian government’s credibility touching a new low in the public eye.

Even India has time and again argued that there were multiple centres of power in Pakistan today, making it difficult for New Delhi to deal with Islamabad. Senior Indian officials have gone on record saying it was easy for the Indian establishment to deal with Islamabad when Musharraf was the president since he could easily be considered a ‘single- stop shop’.

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Pak lacks willpower: Pranab
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 6
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the reprehensible attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in Lahore earlier this week clearly showed Pakistan’s lack of will or capability to tackle terrorism.

He also stated that India would soon be sending to Pakistan its reply to the 30 questions posed by Islamabad in response to the Indian dossier on the 26/11 terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

“States that have used terror as an instrument of state policy should be left with no choice but to dismantle their infrastructure of terrorism and actively cooperate with the international community to eliminate this scourge,” Mukherjee said at the India Today Conclave on ‘Government: Is it a hindrance or facilitator of change’.

He observed that the world at large was slowly moving in the direction of reaching the threshold of zero tolerance of terrorism.

Expressing concern over the agreement for the implementation of sharia between the Pakistani authorities and the Taliban in the Swat valley, Mukherjee said: The revival of Taliban is a big danger for not only Pakistan but the entire region.”

Mukherjee said the international community must ensure that terrorism was eliminated on an urgent basis, warning that no part of the world would otherwise remain immune to the flames of terrorism.

The threat of terrorism in this region would have to be tackled on an urgent basis, he said, cautioning the international community that no part of the world would otherwise remain immune to the menace. 

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Buying a pirated CD? You could
be funding terror

New Delhi, March 6
Pirated movie business, which includes key players like terror mastermind Dawood Ibrahim, is the main source of income for terrorists across the world, a leading US think tank has said.

Elusive Dawood is among the moghuls of this highly profitable business in the South Asia region, says California-based RAND Corporation in its latest report “Film Piracy, Organised Crime and Terrorism.”

The report said the Dawood-led D-Company appears to have morphed from a traditional criminal syndicate motivated by money to a terrorist group motivated by a political agenda and have used film piracy to help fund their activities.

“Dawood is India’s godfather of godfathers who runs criminal gangs from Bangkok to Dubai. Ibrahim’s D-Company, engages in strong-arm protection, drug trafficking, extortion and murder-for-hire,” it said.

While crime syndicates have added piracy to criminal portfolios that include drugs, money laundering, extortion and human smuggling, the profits from film piracy also have been used on occasion to support the activities of terrorist groups, says the researchers.

Given the mind-boggling money that is being generated by the pirated CD and DVD business, it said film piracy can be even more profitable than drug trafficking or other enterprises commonly linked to organised crime. — PTI

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Importance of pedigree in BJP
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Family legacy is playing a very important role in the BJP while choosing candidates for the upcoming general elections.

The latest list of 46 candidates announced by the BJP here yesterday had seven candidates whose sole claim to fame was their pedigree.

Heading the list was Dushyant Singh, the son of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, contesting for a second term from Jhalawar in the state. He was elected to the same seat in 2004 largely on the strength of his mother, the then Chief Minister. Throughout his five-year tenure Dushyant was hardly ever seen in the House and spoke barely once or twice in the Lok Sabha.

Then there is his aunt Yashodhra Raje Scindia, the younger sister of Vasundhra, who was elected to the Lok Sabha from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh in a bye-election in 2007. The only time anyone saw her participating in any activity in the Lok Sabha was when her elder sister was under attack by the Congress and Yashodhra was leading the band of hecklers from the BJP.

There is also BJP senior leader Jaswant Singh’s son Manvendra Singh, who has been renominated to contest from Barmer that he has represented for last five years. Manvendra has largely distinguished himself by coming to Parliament in Rajasthani attire with his colourful headgear trying to disabuse people of the feeling that he was an urban western educated young man. Later, he also earned himself some media space by writing against his party rule in his home state of Rajasthan.

The BJP has barely made its presence felt in Karnataka and Chief Minister BY Yedyurappa’s son BY Raghuvendra has been nominated to contest from his home turf Shimoga.

There are others too whose pedigree earned them the party’s esteem to think of nominating them. It also includes Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s younger brother Lakshman Singh.

Sanjay Gandhi’s son Feroze Varun Gandhi will be trying his luck for the first time from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. His mother Maneka Gandhi’s pocket burrough is highly valued by the BJP leaders like LK Advani simply because the mother-son duo is their answer to the Sonia-Rahul combine from the Congress.

Promoting sons, daughters and family members of political leaders has become a way of life with Indian politics. But it is embarrassing for the BJP because it makes much political capital out of its stated opposition to such politics.

Only recently in the Nagpur national council, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had said: “The difference between the BJP and the Congress is that Shahnawaz Husain did not rise here because his father was somebody. Nor did Narendra Modi or anyone of us.”

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VP Singh’s son joins Paswan camp 
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Political ambitions of former Prime Minister VP Singh’s son Ajay Pratap Singh finally took flight today with the Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) declaring him their candidate from Fatehpur in Uttar Pradesh. The seat, once held by VP Singh, was later won by the BJP, SP and the BSP. It is currently with Mahendra Prasad Nishad of the BSP.

For Ajay, who has spent more time managing finances in MNCs abroad than living the cut and thrust of Indian politics, it was a big occasion considering he is a political novice who has long been itching to take wing.

“I am here to realise the unfulfilled dreams of my father. The UPA has done some work for the Dalits and the OBCs but most of their tasks are not over yet. The Land Acquisition Act remains to be updated. My struggle is for the farmers, the landless,” said Ajay using his father’s socialist views to launch himself on the political stage from Paswan’s Janpath residence.

Paswan, for his part, projected him as the sole inheritor of VP Singh’s legacy of social revolution and hoped the Congress, RJD and the SP would not field candidates against Singh. “They are all products of VP Singh’s ideology. I hope they remember that and bow out in deference to his legacy. I will stake the claim on Fatehpur with the UPA,” said the Dalit leader. But political observers are not too sure if the legacy would work in this case.

While Singh appeared out of place in the midst of media glare, Paswan declared a grand commerce of VP Singh’s Jana Morcha into the LJP today (the Morcha is currently headed by Ajay Singh). VP Singh had founded the Jana Morcha after parting ways with Rajiv Gandhi around 1987. He later named his son Ajay Pratap as its head.

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Govt puts all DGPs on high alert
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta has written to the DGPs of all the states to be on the highest alert as all “big leaders” were under threat along with the “general public at big rallies”.

There is credible evidence of threat to highly-protected leaders like BJP’s LK Advani and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi during election campaigns.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has also sent a list of do’s and don’ts to all state police forces. The list is to be followed in totality, the DGP’s have been told.

They have also been told to write to all political parties in their states about the precautions that would be needed for the political leaders.

All trains, particularly the Rajdhani Express, passing through Uttar Pradesh could be the target of terrorists. Security forces believe if terrorists fail to harm top leaders, they might try targeting second ring leader or regional leaders.

Security is an accompanying factor during campaigning - from platforms from where protected leaders will speak to installing CCTVs at every major election rallies.

Over the past two days, the Home Ministry has taken up the issue with the SPG that provides security to the Prime Minister, all former Prime Ministers and Sonia and Rahul Gandhi. The Mumbai attack has proved that terrorists are much bolder and want to be demonstrative.

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No truck with Congress: Left
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
On the eve of the General Election, the Left feels the Congress is not the right party to forge electoral alliances with, now or later.

“Per se there is no scope of cooperation between them and us. The idea of cooperation is flawed though there may be some areas of cooperation. But we are not considering any possibility of a truck with the Congress right now. There can be no meeting ground unless they drastically change economic and foreign policy stands,” senior CPM leader Nilotpal Basu today admitted, agreeing with BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani’s statement yesterday that the Left and the Congress could not coexist.

For the while, the Left is concentrating on galvanising the anti-BJP, anti-Congress votes around a new pro-poor policy framework under the Third Front, an effort to be voiced in its election manifesto due to be released next week.

The crucial central committee meeting of the CPM begins in the capital tomorrow to finalise the election manifesto, which will address issues of economic recession, terrorism, “flawed” foreign policy of the UPA and communalism, with references to recent attacks on female visitors to a Mangalore pub.

The anti-BJP, anti-Congress sentiment of the Third Front would be generously reflected in the Left’s manifesto — which will hit out at the Congress on the issue of economic and food insecurity and retrenchments, increasing proximity to the US and Israel, and at the BJP on the issue of communalism and anti-minority attacks.

In fact, the Left even hopes to corner urban votes in Kerala by stressing the foreign policy issues, with Basu today saying: “More than 19 lakh Keralites work in the gulf; 89 per cent of the total workforce in the Middle East is from Kerala. Naturally, India’s closeness to the US and Israel impacts the voters significantly. They are returning in large numbers due to job losses and recession, which, in turn, has been fuelled by the way Israel conducts its business in the Middle East.”

While that may sound like a long shot, the Left believes it can actually convert foreign policy matters into votes in Kerala, where it hopes to retain its base.

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Women voters outnumber men in 6 states
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
A data in which gender-ratio activists may find some consolation, women voters are set to play the kingmaker role in six states of the country during the forthcoming General Election. But in rest of the states, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, male electorate would continue to dominate the field.

In all, the country has 34.06 crore registered women electors, compared to 37.23 crore males on the electoral rolls, as per the data released by the Election Commission here today. The fairer sex would be dominating the election process in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Puducherry.

While Andhra Pradesh has 2.86 crore women and 2.8 crore male voters, the figures in Kerala are 1.11 crore and 1.03 crore, respectively.

In Punjab, 87.38 lakh men are registered while the number of women is 80.76 lakh. In Haryana too, the figures are no better: 65.2 lakh men against 54.53 lakh women. The story is the same in Uttar Pradesh, with 6.34 crore men and 5.27 crore women.

Other states showing a considerable difference between men and women electors include Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Delhi, with the figures of 1.94 crore and 1.74 crore, 94 lakh and 84 lakh, and 61.68 lakh and 48.96 lakh voters, respectively.

On the whole, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of electors: 11.64 crore, while Lakshadweep has the lowest: 44,424 voters. Uttar Pradesh also has the highest number of employed electors, followed by Maharashtra and Haryana.

Meanwhile, the number of electors for the ensuing Lok Sabha polls has increased about 6.4 per cent from the last Parliamentary elections (in 2004). Almost 4.3 crore new voters have been added to the rolls this time. The total voter count now is 71.4 crore, as compared to 67.1 crore in 2004. 

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Justice Srikrishna report on Madras HC violence
Both lawyers, police to be blamed
R. Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 6
Former Supreme Court Judge BN Srikrishna has castigated Tamil Nadu lawyers and police for the February 19 bloody clashes in the Madras High Court premises and blamed the Acting Chief Justice and the court administration for their "soft policy" that "encouraged and emboldened the lawyers into becoming law breakers."

Justice Srikrishna, who had been asked by the Supreme Court on February 16 to go into the incidents and submit his interim report within a week, said police began lathicharge only after an unruly mob of lawyers torched a motorbike and the police station within the court premises.

"There is no doubt that the violence was started by the unruly mob of lawyers…but once the police got into action, there was no stopping them. It was as if the police force, as a body, went berserk," the 22-page report said.

A three-Judge apex court of Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan referred the report to the HC for suitable action. The report has also suggested a "detailed inquiry" to "pinpoint the responsibility on individuals" and formulation of "sufficient guidelines" for lawyers' behavior, pending amendment to the Advocates' Act.

"It would be ideal if the Advocates' Act is amended to ensure a better disciplinary mechanism of the profession of law, since it affects not only lawyers but also litigants, the administration of the justice in the country, and finally the rule of law itself.

"Until such time that appropriate Legislation is made, it is desirable that this Hon'ble Court (SC) should formulate appropriate guidelines to be followed by the lawyers and enforced by all Courts of law," Justice Srikrishna said.

According to the report, once the order for lathicharge was given, it appeared that the police "interpreted it as a license to unleash mayhem at will. They chased the lawyers on the ground floor, along the corridors on the first floor and beat them up mercilessly.

The policemen went around the courts destroying property and "did not spare the children's creche also from the hail of stones. Luckily, however, no child was injured though it did traumatize some of the children in the creche and the ayahs attending to them," the report said.

Undoubtedly, the political cross-currents arising from the Sri Lankan Tamils issue and caste-based problems, "contributed and aggravated the sitution. It should have been made clear to the lawyers from the beginning, in no uncertain terms, that whatever their political ideologies, the Court premises could not be utilised for airing them," it further said.

Justice Srikrishna, however, gave a clean chit to the Chennai Commissioner of Police, stating that "I do not think that any blame can be laid at his door."

He said one of the video recordings he watched showed "something interesting." Judge Arumuga Perumal Adithyan was injured on the head due to a lathi blow. "While being carried to the ambulance, the Hon'ble Judge is heard, appealing not to the police, but to the lawyers, and saying: don't throw stones at the police, they are our protectors."

"Regretfully, far from being the upholders of the rule of law, the lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants….the lawyers seemed to be under the impression that, because they are officers of the Court, they are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency."

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On Top:India tests interceptor missile
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 6
The India’s Missile Defence Programme today took a leap forward as scientists demonstrated the capacity to intercept an enemy missiles in mid-air and destroy it. A third test in the continuing programme was conducted off the wheeler island in Orissa this afternoon.

An “enemy” missile was destroyed at a height of 75 km above the earth. The test was successful, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) confirmed today.

With this India joins a select band of nations such as the USA, Russia and Israel, who have similar capabilities. China, has, in the past few months demonstrated it ability that went a step in different direction. It destroyed an old geo-stationary satellite in space and that triggered alarm bells across the globe.

India’s test today was against a moving missile. This provides a credible defence against long-range missiles owned by Pakistan having range between 400 and 2,000 km and the Chinese arsenal that varies from a range of 300 km to 2,800 km.

Countering an incoming missile is one of the biggest challenges in modern-day warfare. All long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles leave the earth’s atmosphere and re-enter it near the destined target.

Today’s test was to destroy the incoming missile at a greater height so that the debris of the missile gets burnt out on re-entering the atmosphere hence reducing the damage on the ground.

Long-range missiles once fired can hit destined targets within a matter of minutes, the challenge is to shoot the interceptor within the first minute or at best two minutes so that the enemy missile is destroyed further away from the Indian soil. Sensors pick up an incoming enemy missile.

The interceptor missile has a killing probability of above 99 per cent. It can also carry a warhead of about 25 kg. Today’s test achieved all the mission objectives. The two-stage “interceptor missile” hit the target. To mimic the incoming enemy’s ballistic missile trajectory, a Dhanush missile was launched from a ship about 100 km off the coast off Orissa coast. This missile achieved a height of 120 km.

The interceptor missile sensed an “enemy” missile and was fired from a mobile launcher located on wheeler island. This was the third consecutive interception of a ballistic missile. The first was carried out in November 2006. This was outside the atmospheric region at a height of 48 Km above the earth. The second inside the atmospheric region at 15 km height using and was conducted in December 2007.

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Pawar leaves Baramati for daughter

New Delhi, March 6
Maharashtra will have its own “Amethi” and “Rae Bareily” in these Lok Sabha elections.

This is because NCP chief Sharad Pawar has now moved to the newly created Madha constituency in the state leaving his pocket borough of Baramati to daughter Supriya Sule, currently a member of the Rajya Sabha.

The act was akin to that of Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who during the 2004 elections moved to Rae Bareily constituency in UPfrom Amethi to facilitate her son Rahul to contest from there. Amethi and Rae Bareily have remained the strongholds of the Gandhi-Nehru family in their home turf of Uttar Pradesh and have been represented by Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Indira Gandhi.

Pawar has been representing Baramati Assembly or Baramati Lok Sabha seat for the past 40 years. The Assembly seat is currently represented by his nephew Ajit Pawar, who is a senior Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader. — PTI

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SC notice to CBI on Sanjay Dutt’s plea
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, March 6
The Supreme Court today issued notice to the CBI seeking its response within two weeks to film star Sanjay Dutt’s plea for a stay on his conviction and a six-year sentence for illegal possession of arms.

A Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan issued the order after senior counsel Harish Salve mentioned the matter in the court. Justices P Sathasivam and Markandey Katju were the other two of the Bench. Additional Solicitor General Amarinder Saran appeared for the CBI.

Dutt has sought stay to contest the Lok Sabha election from Lucknow on the Samajwadi Party ticket.

The apex court has fixed March 30 for further hearing.

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Disgraced Adivasi woman gets AUDF ticket
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, March 6
The Assam United Democratic Front (AUDF), a potpourri of over a dozen minority groups, led by perfume mogul Badaruddin Ajmal has decided to field a young Adivasi woman, who was stripped and assaulted on Guwahati streets, as one of the party candidates in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

On November 24, 2007, young Lakshmi Orang who hails from Jopoubari village in Sonitpur district of North Assam had come to Guwahati along with thousands others from her community to take part in a protest rally in the city to press for Adivasi community’s demand for ST status.

Next morning, she hogged headlines throughout the country for the unfortunate reason that she had been stripped, terrorised and assaulted in board daylight on a street of Guwahati by a mob during the rally. The incident shocked the entire nation.

“The tragedy that befell me had traumatised not only me but my entire family. I was in a state of shock for several months. The AUDF leader Badaruddin Ajmal was the only political leader in the state who stood by me and my family during that period of distress. So, I joined the party and sought a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Tezpur constituency to take the issue dogging my community to the highest forum of democracy,” Lakshmi Orang said.

The AUDF has decided to give her nomination to contest from Adivasi-dominated Tezpur Lok Sabha constituency where she is likely to be pitted against Congress heavy weight and sitting MP Mani Kumar Subba.

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No single-party govt likely: Advani
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, March 6
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani here today said the chances of any single party forming the next government at the Centre were bleak.

Launching his party’s campaign in West Bengal, Advani said either the BJP or the Congress would, with the help of their allies, constitute the next government. Also, he ruled out the possibility of any Third Front government at the Centre.

Addressing party’s “Karmi sammelan” (workers’ conference), Advani claimed that the people would, after experiencing five years of “UPA’s misrule”, vote in favour of the BJP.

Former BJP state president Tapan Sikhdar, who was expelled from the party a few years ago, was re-inducted (into the BJP). Sikhdar would be contesting from Dum Dum Lok Sabha seat, which he won twice in the nineties as BJP candidate by defeating the CPM. 

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3 killed in Saras crash
Tribune News Service

Bangalore, March 6
Three Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel, including two test pilots, died today when the prototype aircraft Saras of the state-run National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) crashed near Bidadi, about 30 km from Bangalore.

The aircraft, which took off from the HAL airport in the city at 2.55 pm on a test flight, crashed around 4.05 pm in a field near Bidadi on the outskirts of the city. Two pilots and the flight engineer aboard the aircraft died in the accident.

The deceased pilots were Wg Cdr Praveen and Wg Cdr H D Shah. The flight engineer who died in the accident was Sq Ldr Iliaraja. “The plane was on an experimental sortie”, Wg Cdr Ranjan, IAF spokesperson in Bangalore, said.

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BRIEFLY

Nashik
MNS leader Shivaji Bhor attacked:
MNS leader Shivaji Bhor was attacked by two unidentified persons near Chhatrapati Maharaj statue here last night, the police said today.
Bhor, a businessman and director of local Merchants Bank, was attacked last night by the duo using a sharp knife, when he was talking to his friends in the Nashik road area. He was rushed to a hospital here, the police said, adding search is on to nab the youths, who fled from the scene after the incident. — PTI

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